Southwest Airlines Flights to Hawaii Could Begin As Soon As This Year
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Southwest thinks it could launch its long-awaited flights to Hawaii as soon as this year. In the company’s earnings call on Thursday, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly announced that the carrier’s plans to fly to Hawaii are on track from the airline’s end, and they could end up launching as soon as the end of 2018.
“I think there is a chance that we could be flying by the end of the year and that will be our goal,” Kelly said. “I’ll be happy [if it happens]. If we don’t, it won’t be the end of the world.”
If the Hawaii flights don’t launch by the end of this year, Kelly thinks Southwest will be able to begin operations to the 50th state in early 2019. At this point, Kelly said that when the carrier is allowed to begin operations is out of its control. But, in terms of what it does control, Kelly said that the carrier is “right on target.”
So, what’s the big hold up? Southwest needs to get approval from the FAA to operate the over-ocean flights, a process that could take one year or longer. The approval process, which is already underway, includes special training for flight crew and additional equipment for Southwest’s all-737 fleet of aircraft.
Even if Southwest doesn’t get the necessary approval to begin operations in 2018, Kelly said that he’s confident the airline will begin selling tickets this year.
Southwest made news when it first announced that it would begin Hawaii operations in October 2017. Since then, there’s been little news as to specific routes and what fares would look like. However, we do know that Southwest’s Hawaii service will launch with its 737-800s before switching to its newest 737 MAX. In addition, the carrier has said that it will start with operations from California, a huge market for the low-cost carrier.
While we wait for more details on Southwest’s Hawaii operations, get caught up on the aircraft that it will soon be flying to Hawaii by reading this review of the 737 MAX 8.
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.